Always write neatly or use legible fonts; you will never know a mistaken a letter will change the course of history. Damansara was born after this oversight.
The township that straddles across Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, Damansara, was actually spelled ‘Damar Sara’ back in the 1890s!
The derivation of ‘Damansara’ came from the British Resident and land registrar, Sir William Maxwell, when he accidentally mistook the ‘r’ for an ‘n’ and merged the two-word ‘Damar Sara’ into ‘Damansara’—forever changing the name of the land we all came to love today.
Source: Google Books
According to the map excerpted from Maps of Malaysia and Borneo and Skyscrapercity forum thread, the original name came from old Malay and Sanskrit with ‘Damar’ means a type of resin obtained from a tropical tree and ‘Sara’ means precious or important in Sanskrit.
Yup, Damansara supposedly meant a precious organic flammable substance excreted from a tree. That’s why the place is so lit!
The birth of the mistake came when Sir William Maxwell implemented the Torrens system of land registration pursuant to the Selangor Registration of Titles Regulations of 1891. Maps dated before 1891, as one above, all contained the original name ‘Damar Sara’.
‘Damar Sara’ used to be a place of stone jetty and landing area (pengkalan batu) which was utilized as a tin mining post. The vicinity has become what we call today Section 23, Shah Alam.
After the obscure change of name, a north river in the vicinity had taken up the name Sungai Damansara and the area had become what we came to know today as Mukim (District) Damansara.
Source: Google Map
Today, Damansara has a series of suburbs and towns under the cognomen. Starting from Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Damansara and TTDI to Petaling Jaya’s Damansara Perdana, Mutiara Damansara, Damansara Utama, Kota Damansara, Damansara Kim, Damansara Jaya, Damansara Intan, Ara Damansara and so on.
Now that you know more about Damansara, let us know what is your favourite hang out spot in Damansara and don’t forget to share this fun fact with your friends.